Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Cheryl Keen

Abstract

Postconflict governments and counterparts have collaborated to provide skills training to communities as a critical postconflict development strategy. In these undertakings, the role of community members remains largely undefined. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive case study was to understand the perceptions held by rural community members regarding the role they played in influencing government's policy priority for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) as a local human development strategy in postconflict Liberia. The conceptual framework was based on human capital theory and concepts of motivation and achievement. Fourteen participants were purposefully selected for the study. Data were collected from interviews, focus group discussion, and documents and analyzed using constant comparison. Results indicated that increasing human capital, restoring self-esteem, encouraging civic participation, and building peace were among the community members' motivations for establishing a skills training institution. Leadership, advocacy, and ownership were major roles community stakeholders played in establishing their local skill training institution; voluntarism and collaboration were found to be strategies for support to the local TVET initiatives. Findings have positive social change implications for facilitating community-initiated TVET programs for youth employment as well as informing TVET policies in countries transitioning from conflict to development.